Elec­toral an­a­lyst tips vic­tory for LNP de­spite ‘ter­ri­ble’ week

Central and North Burnett Times - - 2015 STATE ELECTION - Ge­off Egan APN NEWS­DESK

BLUN­DERS cost the LNP mo­men­tum in the elec­tion’s third week, but will not cost them vic­tory.

That’s Queens­land elec­toral an­a­lyst Dr Paul Wil­liams’ belief as the elec­tion cam­paign nears its end.

Dr Wil­liams, a Grif­fith Univer­sity pol­i­tics lec­turer, said ra­dio host Alan Jones’ claims the gov­ern­ment was be­holden to com­mer­cial min­ing in­ter­ests, and the re­spond­ing defama­tion suit from Mr New­man and other se­nior cab­i­net mem­bers, had hurt how vot­ers saw the gov­ern­ment.

“The pub­lic per­cep­tion is that in launch­ing a defama­tion suit the Premier is a ‘whinger’, or has a ‘glass jaw’. There’s a view pol­lies should be able to take it,” he said.

DrWil­liams pointed to po­lice union pres­i­dent Ian Leavers’ claims the gov­ern­ment lied about in­creas­ing Safe Night Out fund­ing – which the gov­ern­ment has de­nied, the LNP “rev­ers­ing the onus of proof” on claim­ing bikies were back­ing La­bor’s cam­paign, and stat­ing elec­tion prom­ises were tied to LNP mem­bers be­ing re-elected as other gov­ern­ment “own goals”.

“The La­bor Party had an av­er­age week. But they didn’t need to have a great one,” he said.

“The LNP had a good first week, a not so bad sec­ond week, but week three was ter­ri­ble for them.”

DrWil­liams said the turn­around for La­bor to be in with a chance of win­ning, just three years after be­ing almost wiped out, was “ex­tremely un­usual”.

De­spite the gov­ern­ment’s week from hell, DrWil­liams said he ex­pected it would be re-elected on Satur­day – with the thinnest of mar­gins.

“I’m still tip­ping a very nar­row LNP vic­tory. They’ll prob­a­bly end up with seats in the high 40s.

“But a hung par­lia­ment is a very real pos­si­bil­ity.”

A party must have at least 45 mem­bers elected to hold a majority gov­ern­ment.

The LNP cur­rently has 73 mem­bers and La­bor just nine. DrWil­liams said mi­nor par­ties had strug­gled to make head­way this cam­paign and would be un­likely to win new seats.

De­spite the LNP’s at­tempts to sep­a­rate state and fed­eral is­sues Dr Wil­liams said the Ab­bott gov­ern­ment’s ac­tions con­tin­ued to haunt the LNP.

He said the Prime Min­is­ter’s decision to knight Prince Philip would have “gone down like a lead bal­loon” in LNP of­fices.

Mr New­man has re­peat­edly tried to dis­tance him­self from Mr Ab­bott, stat­ing he did not need to be “propped up”.

Mr Ab­bott’s un­pop­u­lar­ity was seen as a key rea­son the Vic­to­rian Lib­er­als lost gov­ern­ment in Novem­ber last year.

Dr Paul Wil­liams They’ll prob­a­bly end up with seats in the high 40s.

PHOTO: KEVIN FARMER

BAD LOOK: Elec­tion an­a­lyst Dr Paul Wil­liams said the Premier launch­ing a defama­tion suit against broad­caster Alan Jones was a made move.

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